Rachael Rakes

Rachael Rakes is a curator, writer and editor, film programmer, and educator based in Amsterdam and sometimes NYC. She is a former book publishing professional, sommelier, and community organizer.

Rakes is the Artistic Director of the 12th Seoul Mediacity Biennale. She is an Editor at Large for Verso Books, a Contributing Editor for INFRASONICA, a Committe Member of the New York FIlm Festival, and co-curator of the festival  Art of the Real. With Laura Huertas Millán, and Onyeka Igwe, she organizes the curatorial and research initiative on alternative ethnographies, Counter-Encounters. From 2019-2022 she was the Curator for Public Practice at BAK basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht. Until 2019, she was the Head Curator and Manager of the Curatorial Programme at De Appel in Amsterdam. Rakes has taught recently for Zine Eskola, HKU, KASK, The New School, Harvard University, and the New Centre for Research and Practice, and advised for Sandberg Institut. Rakes is co-editor of the publications Toward the Not-Yet (2021, BAK/MIT Press) and Practice Space (2019, NAME/De Appel) and has contributed criticism and essays to Art-Agenda, Artforum, and The Village Voice, among other publications and catalogues.

Selected recent exhibitions and programmes include No Linear Fucking Time (BAK), Propositions 13 (BAK), DECODERS/RECORDERS: Steffani Jemison and Samson Young (De Appel/Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam), Relational Capacities (Frame Contemporary/Amos Rex, Helsinki), On Watching Men (SAIC, Chicago), Dark Progress + Uncontained Energy and Contained Fear (Tabakerlara, San Sebastian), CAMP: In Cameras Res (De Appel), The Health Show II (A.I.R., NYC), In Between: Tacita Dean (Centre Pompidou, Paris), EVAN IFEKOYA: A Score, A Groove, A Phantom, A Congregation (De Appel), On Documentary Abstraction (Oolite Arts (Miami), Estructuras de la Razón (Walgreens, Miami), BEN RUSSELL: It is Here, It Will Last Forever (De Appel), and Formal Complaint (Knockdown Center, NYC).
Rakes is a board member of ReCenter in Leiden, JaJaJaNeeNeeNee, and World Records Journal.  She is graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. She has been a Curator in Residence for the CPR: Mexico program, an Arts Writer in Residence for Contemporary Art Stavanger, a Fellow with the Bruce High Quality Foundation MFU in Miami, and Researcher in Residence at Squeaky Wheel Media Art Center. With Leo Goldsmith, Rakes  received a 2015 Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for a book on Peter Watkins’s radical aesthetics. From 2010-2013, Rakes was the Assistant Curator at the Museum of the Moving Image, and from 2012-2014 she co-directed Heliopolis Project Space in Brooklyn.

Contributor Projects